The courts are backed up, the case files are stacked high, and the court stenographer called out sick, but that doesn't mean we can't take a few minutes to judge a book by its cover.
Let's try Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
This is about a bunch of kids who grow tired of their urban environs, so they go to play hide and seek in the woods. John thinks he has the best hiding spot, since nobody has found him for close to six hours. Eventually, it dawns on him that nobody plays hide and seek for six hours. He starts to worry that something might be wrong, so he leaves his hiding spot and starts looking for his friends. Nothing could prepare John for what he was about to discover. What he finds are other kids who were hiding for a game of hide and seek, but these kids are not his friends, these kids are FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION.
When the consequences of hide and seek can result in death... you don't want to be it!
Being a resident out in the sticks is hard enough, but being ignored by the only people around is even worse, especially if they are your parents. The Parish kids knew what living off the land was. They always had to fend for themselves while Ma and Pa worked. There was a fire down at the old lumber yard and Mr. and Mrs. Parish were trapped. After losing their jobs, they were home for weeks. When cabin fever sets in, the youngest son Jacob begins to notice a change in his parents. Parish's start to disappear, leaving Jacob on his own to find them.
Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.
Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.
Then, one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows — does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?
Hmmm... it seems that we were only slightly off the mark, as the book does take place in the woods, just as we predicted. Another "Judging a Book by Its Cover" success!